When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.
I absolutely loved this book. So much so that I think I've read the entire series 7 or 8 times. And what I love about it is that it is so different. The mythology and the lore are incredible in this one and as much as I sometimes want to punch Wendy in the face when she makes stupid decisions, I still love her to pieces for having her convictions and standing with them.
The whole Trylle culture was one that I was riveted with. The monarchy of which Wendy was a princess to, the idea that there is a class system in this world, the changeling system: it was all incredible and unique. I loved every second of it. Mythology and world building is so huge to me in fantasy novels and Hocking's Trylle world is one of the best. There aren't many unanswered questions about who, what, or why this is all happening, which makes for a great read because you can focus on the story rather than the "I don't understand because this was not explained to me" part. The explanation of magic and who gets what powers could still be more fully developed, but I think it is something that isn't extremely explainable? It seems like it is luck of the draw almost.
The cast of characters was also diverse and incredible. Wendy was whiny and a brat, but she also had a big heart. I think most of her personality came from the fact that she had a traumatic childhood. She also found it difficult to connect with people because she didn't understand part of herself, which is something that most people can relate to. She was thrown into this world she knew nothing about and was told to become a princess overnight without any real guidance or help because she was expected to know it, which I must admit was a bit frustrating, but it also served to show her that she can do anything she puts her mind too, which I thought was an important feature to have in the main character. When the book starts, Wendy is a bit naive and self-centered but she learns to open up and grows throughout the course of the book.
I liked Finn and his struggles, but I did not like Finn and Wendy together. I was not a fan of their unrealizable love and thought it was stupid for both of them to even put themselves in that position. I understand that there are some flaws in the current monarchy system and that the Trylle shouldn't be so stifled with what they can and cannot do, but clearly it is important for the Trackers to not have their bloodline disrupted since they are an integral part of the economic structure. I thought their relationship was reckless and misguided.
The pacing was good, the right mix of world building and action. There were some parts that were slower than others, but they led up to the action sequences or to Wendy learning something new that she wasn't aware of before, which made them integral to the story.
Overall: 4/5 stars. This one was so creative and I loved every minute of it. I first read this book in 2012 and have had a book hangover for it ever since.
ALSO, the version I have published by St. Martin Griffin's has bonus stories at the back!! I highly suggest if you are going to pick up a copy, you pick this version up!